Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Interview with Me!

Sarah Tapola deciding to do an interview with me, and needless to say, I was stoked on it!

Here it is !
Or here too!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Protest the Hero Interview

I got the chance to do an interview with Protest the Hero. Well, here it is!

Lets start things off here by asking, how are you?
Good you know, whatever. We’re on the road doing what we always do.

Who are your musical influences?
We have a wide range of musical influences ranging from Aeon to Dream Theatre, Colm Wilkinson to Garth Brooks. We listen to whatever’s good.

When did you guys start to continue music as a career?
Start to continue? I’m not sure that makes sense, but I guess we’ve been perusing this shit since we were twelve years old.

If you guys did not continue music as a career, what would you be doing instead?
I would probably be working in a grocery store stocking shelves or something. Though I would like to claim to be the next Jean Val Jean via Les Miserables.

What does it mean to you to be an indie artist?
Doesn’t mean a thing in Canada Indie kind of just means that you don’t know how to tune your instrument and you stare at your converse sneakers whilst playing your guitar.

What would you describe your music as?
Mumbly-Jumply nonsense.

You most likely get this question asked a lot, but where do you see Protest the Hero in the next 5-10 years?
Broken up in three years, forgotten in four.

What was harder, breaking into the Canadian music scene, or the American? Why?
It’s the same shit. The population density in the United States is a lot higher so deductive reasoning would conclude that it’s easier in the states.

What do you think of albums that get leaked, and people who download them? Do you get disappointed when you hear about it, or people download it?
I think downloading is wicked, it’s kind of a bummer when shit gets leaked early, but who really gives a fuck. I’d be pretty excited if downloading was legalized, because bands don’t make money off record sales, so who cares?

What do you prefer to play, outdoor festivals or regular shows?
Out door festivals are no good.

Kezia and Fortress both have strong elements of women oppression... Do you feel this message needs to be conveyed more?
I think it’s just an attempt to acknowledge the engrained misogyny that comes with this ugly hanging appendage between out legs. It’s our best attempt to dispel it.

If you could tour with any band/artist, who would it be and why?
At this point I would probably just like to tour with all my friends. I don’t give a fuck about “cool bands” I never get to see my friends I would just bring them all and let them know how shitty tour is.

What is your favourite city, and venue to play at/in?
I like playing in Texas anywhere really, we’ve played Odessa that was cool, good vibes in Texas.

What kind of stuff do you enjoy doing outside of playing music?
I don’t really enjoy anything I enjoy smoking cigarettes and drinking… I’m you’re typical douche bag.

What is one thing you need to bring on tour, and do on tour?
I bring my camera just in case there should be an impromptu dance.

Thanks for doing this,

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

EM Interview

EM is a singer/songwriter from Calgary, Canada. I recently had the chance to interview her, and here it is!

Lets start things off here by asking, how are you?

I’m great! Hugely optimistic about the future…things are coming up Em!

Who are your musical influences?

I am mostly influenced by music with a killer vocal melody. Music from the 90’s inspired most of my song writing skills; especially No Doubt, Eels, Our Lady Peace, Weezer, Weird Al and the Goo Goo Dolls. More recent influences include Paramore, Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, Bright Eyes and Coldplay.

What got you started into music?

I grew up on a farm, so I was pretty bored at the best of times. My mom had an old classical guitar tucked away in the basement and I pulled it out and taught myself a few chords from a book. Once I learned 3 chords I wrote my first song. I had a lot of teenage angst that just had to be converted into lyrics. I soon switched to a steel string of course…

If you could tour with any band, who would it be and why?

I would LOVE to tour with No Doubt after they release their new record. Gwen is my idol musically and business wise. I would love to just sit back with a beer after every show and ask her questions.

Outside music, what kind of things do you enjoy?

I’m big into fitness, so most of my free time is working out or getting outside! Hiking, rollerblading, biking, badminton or kayaking. But in the winter, I watch WAY too many movies.

What inspires you to make music?

Life. Sounds generic, but its true. Most of the time I creepily “people watch”. I get inspired by imagining what their lives are like, and the things they are thinking. I don’t have a lot of drama in my life, so I dream it up!

If you were not into making music, what would you be doing instead?

I graduated from college in Radio Broadcasting, and I really enjoyed it. I love writing radio commercials and scripts. I’ve thought about being a nutritionist too. Eating right gives you energy, and it would be fun to help people learn to love great foods.

So, you got to go to the Junos and walk the red carpet, what was that like?

Walking the red carpet was one of the most AMAZING experiences I’ve ever had. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of energy that just comes down on you when you are sandwiched between crowds of screaming people. It was so loud and crazy! I got to meet a lot of really awesome folks. That was the first time I’ve ever felt like a real star. Intense.

If you could be any cartoon character, who would it be?

Pepper Ann! She’s so deliciously awkward and nerdy but cool at the same time.

Do you think the internet, and sites like MySpace and Twitter helps out new artists with gaining exposure and showing off their music to other people?

Without a doubt! Myspace was where I got my start, posting self-recordings from my closet, getting feedback and meeting new people. It takes awhile to really build your fanbase, but it’s amazing once you do. I now have some great friends who have been with me since the beginning…I can’t wait to meet all of them. I am lucky to have these sites because I can write the music that I want, and post! Complete freedom.

When you played your first ever show, were you nervous and what kind of fears came with playing your first show and how did you overcome them?

I was sooo nervous! My first show was with my old high school band “Seducing Fido”. We played some cover songs at our school’s Christmas talent show in the gymnasium. The sound was terrible, and we were awful!! Performing in front of your whole high school was probably the most intimidating show ever. Every other show was easy after that!! I knew it couldn’t get worse. I have it on video and I hope it never ends up on youtube. J

Any last words?

Live your dreams. Buy my album “Dream it Up” on itunes or at cdbaby.com.

Anyone you want to thank?

Russell Broom for taking a chance on me and producing my new album, and Kyle Corner for EVERYTHING else!



EM's MySpace

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Four Year Strong Interview!

I got the chance to interview Josh from Four Year Strong, and he is rad as hell. Check out the interview below!

Lets start things off here by asking, how are you?
I’m doing fucking great. I just got home from a family gathering up in New Hampshire, got home from tour yesterday and rode trails all day as soon as I got home.

What got you into music?
When I was a super little kid I would just listen to whatever the other kids were listening to at the time, when I was in the sixth grade I got my first bmx bike and me and my friends would just cruise all day and watch videos all night, we would try and dig the shittiest trails, we had like the worst six pack ever, and I remember listening to a tape we recorded off the tv from expendable youth. Originally just whatever was in the bike and skate videos, and then when I was in high school my friends got me more and more into going to shows and kind of just got way into it from there.

Since you play keyboard, what got you into playing that instrument?
This band specifically got me into synth. I grew up and have always played music, I tried to play the flute unsuccessfully when I was super young, and got a bass when I was older and played like the school dances with some of my friends. From there I sort have inherited my moms acoustic, that my uncle gave her when she was young. I met Joe (bass player) and we were guzzling brews and he said they needed a keyboard player and I thought that sounded fucking hilarious so I got into it.

How did you get into playing with Four Year Strong?
Basically just Joe bringing it up, then I met the other dudes and it was like love at first sight. Everything else was just organic, we all had a love of music and acting like shit heads. It’s been almost four years and I haven’t looked back.

If you didn’t play music, what would you be doing instead?
My last job before we were touring full time was a commercial truck driver for a carnival company. I would deliver moonwalks and random stuff like, virtual golf, dunk tanks, tents for weddings. I guess I’d just probably be driving trucks and riding my bike. I like simple stuff, a house, a dog, my bike. That would be awesome.

What are your musical influences?
I love hot water music, suicide file, reach the sky, American nightmare, a lot of hardcore. Anything from old videos, classic rock, I find something to appreciate in most music I guess.

Since you guys just finished the Taste of Chaos tour, how was that?
Taste of Chaos was a ton of fun, hung out with a lot of old friends, made some new ones. Three quarters of it was nice enough to ride street most days. We got to play for a bunch of kids that we probably wouldn’t normally get to play for, so that was cool. We just got home and I’m pretty stoked to get to just hang at home with m friends and family for a minute.

What was the best city on that tour?
I have to answer our home town of Worcester, Massachusetts, but there were a lot of really good ones. Canada came through, Florida rules, out west, east coast. Most places have something to offer.

What is your current BMX set-up?
I ride a Mutiny Burlish frame, no brakes, no pegs, lumberjack bars, Odyssey wheels, Odyssey plastic pedals, some hand me down cranks that love to dig into my ankles. The thing fucking rules. I had a Terrible-1 for years, but I finally got a crack in the rear end and my friend had the Burlish for cheap.

What is your favourite Four Year Strong song to play?
Tough to say, but I get to just run around during maniac so I’m into playing that.

If you could tour with any band, who would it be and why?
Any band I listen to I like to play with, any band I could get pumped to stage dive to I’m down with.

What do you prefer to play at; an indoor venue or outdoor venue?
Indoor, but if you get a day with good greenery an outdoor show is nice with the breeze in your hair. Wow that sounded pretty absurd.

What do you enjoy doing outside of music?
Riding bikes, playing poker, watching horror movies, tattoos, and writing.

What do you hope people will take away with them when they hear your music or see your live show?
I hope they have fun, you can say whatever you want about our band, but it’s genuine which I think is rare these days, and we pride ourselves on our live show, so come out!

Folder or Scruncher?

What do you guys to prepare for a show?
Nothing special, we stretch and make fun of each other. Maybe a pre-emptive beer or sip of the old goblin’s milk.

When you played your first ever show, were you nervous and what kind of fears came with playing your first show and how did you overcome them?
Not really honestly, I don’t take all that much very seriously, and this was no exception. I was a little weirded out I guess, but I had no expectations, I saw Dragonforce once, and they were the only band I had ever seen live that had a keyboard player. So I didn’t really have any rules to abide by I guess, I was just like “alright I’ll play the keyboard and the parts I don’t play I’ll just get into it and see what happens” and after that it seemed to work out. I must sound like a fucking idiot in this.

What are some bands you think people should check out?
Last Lights. They’re our really good friend’s hardcore band from Worcester, they are amazing. Dom, who sang for them unfortunately passed away recently, but he left behind some of the best music I’ve ever heard. Everyone go check them out, Rest in Peace Dominic Owen Mallory.

Anyone you want to thank?
My family for ruling, my friends for hanging out, my bike for being awesome, my cats for their whiskers, and my band for being a little of all of those things.

Any last words?
Shred on!


Monday, April 6, 2009


Do you guys know about Rob Dyer's Skate4Cancer? If not, I think you should know about his great cause. To find out more about him, go here: Skate4Cancer

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jess Baumung Interview.

With the post below about that awesome photographer, I decided to take it to the next step and interview this awesome dude! Here is one of the best interviews I have ever done!

Lets start thing off here, and give us a little background of you for those who may not know much about you?
- Well, my full name is Jess Edward Baumung and I am a photographer currently living in Toronto Ontario Canada.

What is your main camera that you use?
- The main camera I use is a Canon 5D with a variety of different lenses depending on what I am shooting.

Why did you get into photography?
- I think I just always liked photography. Even before I knew anything about actually taking photos. I remember when I was younger I used to always sit and look through my parents old photos from when my brothers and sister and I were younger and I loved how every photo had so much of a story behind it. The one thing I always loved was seeing photos where the background was out of focus and I had no idea how to make that happen until a friend showed me a camera her dad owned which was an old manual focus SLR and I was like "Yes!! This is how you do it!" Somehow I managed to go a few more years without actually looking into getting a camera like that for myself until I was in grade 12 and my art teacher lent me one that was sitting in the vault of the high school. I never did give that camera back actually. Dont tell him.

How did you know that photography was right for you?
- Like I said in my last answer, I really think I always appreciated it. It seemed like such a natural thing for me to do once I started actually trying to learn it.

If you didn’t shoot photos, what would you do instead?
- My joke answer would be rot in a gutter with no money, but a serious answer would probably be graphic design or music. I used to play a lot of music and do graphic design stuff before I got into photography. Once I started taking pictures I realized how much I would always suck at playing guitar so I didnt focus on that as much. I kept doing the graphic design stuff for quite a few years actually. I only really stopped doing two years ago now. I found it took too much time away from taking photos.

So, you a digital or film person? And why?
- My first camera was a Canon film SLR, and I used it for a while, but I grew up in a small town with no real way of printing my own photos, so I had to rely on Wal-Mart to do that which made me feel like I had no real control over my pictures. I wasnt really down with that, so I got my parents to buy me a Sony point and shoot digital camera as my gift for graduating high school and I used that for a long time. I was pretty much obsessed with macro photos and rusty walls, so I spent a lot of time doing that for the first little while. I also shot a bit of concert stuff back then, but I was terrible at it. At least I tried though.

After a while with that Sony camera, I found it really limiting, and I read about the new Canon Digital Rebel and found out it was only going to cost me $2000. At the time that was a whole hell of a lot of money, but it was still within my range, so I jumped in head first and went for it. At that point I started to take photography a bit more seriously and I began shooting a lot more concerts whenever I could.

The town I grew up in was 4 hours away from anywhere decent to go see shows, so me and my friends used to drive for four hours to go see bands like Moneen, Alexisonfire, Death By Stereo, Snapcase, Death From Above and many more. I took photos at all those shows and had the best time.

I feel I have strayed away from the original question... Ok, so I guess because of all that I would say I am a digital person, but I have recently started shooting some film and I actually just set up my new neg scanner like 10 minutes before you sent these questions.

You’ve taken photos of some cool people, who is the most fun to work with?
- That's a really hard question to answer because I feel like I usually always have fun taking photos no matter who they are of. I remember how excited I was the day I did a portrait of Sam Beam from Iron and Wine because I think his music is amazing and he was such a quiet and kind person. The day I photographed 50 Cent was also pretty sweet. I remember after I took the photos I was shaking a little bit because I almost couldnt believe it had just happened. Hes a fairly intimidating guy considering how short he is. You would be surprised.

I also love taking pictures of my friend Rob Dyer who runs an organization called Skate 4 Cancer. I had a conversation with him about this the other day actually. I feel like what he is doing is just so incredible and inspiring and everyone just wants to help him in any way they can. My way happens to be with my camera and I really love thinking that even though I may not be able to skateboard across a whole country and change the way hundreds of thousands of kids think about Cancer Awareness, I can at least do the one thing I am good at to help push the one person who can do all those things just a tiny little bit further. I think its amazing how so many people do anything they can to help Rob out. Hes gonna change the world one day man. Just you wait and see.

There are many more people that I'm sure could make this list but it would end up going on and on with these crazy personal reasons for why I had so much fun photographing them.

What drew you towards photography in the music industry?
- I love this question because its so much fun to tell this story.. Ok, so I mentioned that I used to photograph a whole lot of rusty walls and macro stuff.. One day I was searching around on the internet and came across a photographer named Rob Dobi who shot a lot of abandoned buildings. Pretty much rusty wall heaven right there.. Rob Dobi was also an amazing artist and he did a lot of illustration work for a bunch of cool bands. One day on his site he posted some drawings he made as a joke called "How To Be Emo" and I thought they were hilarious. A while later he took them off his site, so I did a google search to try to find them an I came across this page titled "What the heck *is* emo anyway?" and it had this AMAZING photo of a band called Still Life, taken by a guy named Scott Bilby. I pretty much saw that photo and was so blown away that all I wanted to do after that was shoot concerts all the time. I pretty much spent the better part of the next 6 or 7 years doing just that all because of that one photo.

Now, here is the best part of the story. I had tried finding more information on Scott Bilby throughout the years but could never really find that much about him, then one day I randomly searched his name on Facebook and I found someone named Scott Bilby. I got really stoked and sent him a message asking if he was the same guy who took that photo. He messaged me back a few hours later and said he did in fact that that photo and I pretty much went on a whole rant about how he changed my life. I also bought a print of the photo off of him and its framed in my living room right now. Every time I see that photo I remember exactly why I am a photographer. If you google the word EMO, you will find that site and the photo is still up. Go look at it, its amazing.

What is your favourite style of photography to shoot like street, concert, portraits?
- I actually love all three of those types of photography, but I would probably have to say that I enjoy portraits the most these days, only because I find them to be the most challenging. Its really amazing to hang out with someone and connect with them one on one to try to capture something unique in their personality.

What was the hardest thing to overcome when you first starting photography?
Probably the fact that I was always ridiculously shy when I was growing up, and still actually am to this day. Its pretty much the biggest obstacle I have to try to overcome every single day. Most people dont believe me when I tell them that I am that way but its true. I feel like I have definitely come a long way from when I was younger but man, its still a hard time some days.

Got any advice for people who are into photography, and want to progress their hobby further?
- The best thing I could tell anyone would be to not compare yourself to other photographers. Your main goal should only be to take a better photograph than the one you took the day before. If you sit and look at someones website who has been shooting for like 10 years and then look at your own photos and they arent as good, you are just going to get depressed and it makes it really hard to want to try to get better. If your only goal is to outdo yourself, then you will almost always succeed. It takes a lot of time to learn a lot of things with photography. I still feel like I am learning new things and getting better every day. Every single concert, or portrait or whatever else I shoot, my only concern is to come out of that with a better photo than I had before. I honestly think thats the best thing anyone can know about learning photography. Also, ask a lot of questions. I love it when people ask me questions and I always email everyone back no matter how many times the same question may get asked.

Since you do a lot of concert photography, which is your favourite band to shoot?
- Answering a question like this is really hard for me. I think I have a few bands who I will always hold as being my favorite bands of all time, and I have managed to photograph all of those bands at some point over the years, and I think those specific shows stand out more than anything just because of how much I love their music. Some of those bands specifically are Propagandhi, Strike Anywhere, NOFX.

Some other bands that I have photographed that also stand out would be Iron and Wine, Alexisonfire, Misery Signals, Fucked Up, Anti Flag, Billy Talent, Johnny Truant, Weakerthans, Attack In Black, City and Colour, Comeback Kid, Underoath, Every Time I Die, Theset, Rise Against, Moneen, Final Fantasy, AFI, Saint Alvia, and just an intensely long list that would keep going on and on. I like photographing my friends bands a lot, and these days it seems like the number of bands that I have become friends with has grown a lot over the years and the list just keeps getting bigger.

You just had an art show a while ago, how did that go for you?
- The art show went better than I ever could have expected. A few years ago I started working on a series of portraits featuring Toronto musicians and artists and I was fortunate enough to photograph a lot of really amazing people for that project, but I never had time to do anything with them really. Then a few months ago my friend Anna called me up and asked if I wanted to be a part of her Art'd series of art shows at Czehoski and I jumped at the chance to finally show some of the portraits. I even managed to shoot two more portraits for the series a few days before the show which was cool.

The 10 people I ended up showing were Rob Dyer, Dallas Green, Damian Abraham, Johnny Hockin, Eon Sinclair, Leah Miller, Reg Vermue, Owen Pallett, Dave Baksh, and Lights.

What is your favourite lens to use?
- Photo nerd time!! I actually have a semi specific use for each of the six lenses I now own.

I use my Canon 16-35 f2.8L for shooting events and smaller crazier concerts. Mostly small hardcore shows where I am right there in the middle of the action. I tend to always use it with direct flash.

I have a Canon 24-70 f2.8L that I used to use for concerts in slightly larger venues than the 16-35 range can handle. I also prefer to use that lens without a flash so it tends to come out a lot more in venues with better lighting like the Mod Club.

I have a Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS which I use whenever I shoot in bigger venues like the Phoenix, or the Kool Haus where I cant really get close enough to the band to use either of the other two lenses. I think this is the least used lens out of all the ones I own really. I tend to spend a lot more time on the wider end of things.

Next up is a Canon 35mm f1.4L which is one of my two current favorite lenses to use right now. I got this lens a few months ago and its really amazing. I love the 35mm focal length on a full frame camera for shooting behind the scenes documentary type stuff. I have been using it a lot over the past few months. Its great to use when shooting concerts with lighting too dark to really use the f2.8 of the three zoom lenses.

Canon 50mm f1.2L - This is also one of my two current favorite lenses. I use it a lot for portraits and I shot a Cut Copy show with it the other day and it was great. Its so sharp even at f1.2.

The final lens I own is a Canon 85mm f1.8 which is another damn fine lens. I recently decided that I love shooting with primes way more than I like using zooms for many different reasons. I have had this 85mm lens for a few years now and it never fails me. I use it a lot at really low light concerts, and its a great portrait lens.

Outside of photography, what do you enjoy doing?
- I recently started riding a fixed gear bike which is a really fun time. I actually think that there isnt a lot that I do outside of photography. Most of my days revolve around photography in some way. I sometimes collect old photographs, or buy fun things on ebay and craigslist. Its a bit of an addiction actually. I just love getting packages in the mail with fun things in them.

Any last words?
- I dont really know what else there is to say.. I kinda spilled most of my adult life right out there for everyone to fumble through. Right now I am listening to Bleed American by Jimmy Eat world and its great. After this song is done, Im gonna listen to the new NOFX song called The Quitter and thats also going to be a good time.

Anyone you want to thank?
- Thanks to anyone who has ever came up to me at a show, or emailed me, sent me a facebook message, or any other futuristic method of communication, and told me you like my photos. Its really nice to hear that people enjoy what I do considering I have pretty much spent most of my time over the past however many years trying to do the best job I can. I hope one day I can inspire someone to pick up a camera and give it a shot. It may just change your life like it did mine. Maybe in 7 years you will be sitting in your office typing out answers to an interview and you will be like "Wow, this is really awesome"

Thanks for reading this.
-Jess Baumung


Check out more of this dudes work by clicking here: Jess Baumung Photography